Story at a glance

  • Disney World is asking trappers for help in ridding their parks and properties of alligators — and offering financial rewards.
  • The Orlando Sentinel reported that roughly 250 gators have been removed from Disney over the past five years.
  • The issue drew national attention after 2-year-old Thomas Graves was killed in a gator attack in June 2016.

Disney World is asking trappers for help in ridding their parks and properties of alligators — and offering financial rewards. 

The Orlando Sentinel reported that roughly 250 gators have been removed from Disney over the past five years. Prior to that stretch, 220 alligators were cleared out of Disney’s Orlando park between 2006 and 2016. The issue drew national attention after 2-year-old Thomas Graves was killed in a gator attack in June 2016. 

Trappers are incentivized by a reward of $30 per gator as well as profits they might glean from selling leather and meat, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) spokeswoman Tammy Sapp told the Orlando Sentinel. A majority of the captured reptiles are euthanized, according to Sapp.

"The FWC takes public safety seriously and uses Targeted Harvest Area (THA) permits as part of a comprehensive effort to achieve alligator management goals," Sapp told the Orlando Sentinel. "THA permits allow a managing authority to work directly with a designated FWC contracted nuisance alligator trapper, making the process for removing nuisance alligators more proactive and streamlined."


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Disney has worked with FWC contracted trappers, installed a border wall and signage throughout the park and offered additional training to staffers to deal with the gator challenges, according to The Sentinel.

The FWC encourages Florida residents to call its toll-free Nuisance Alligator Hotline at 866-392-4286, should they come across a problematic gator. Yet not all alligators qualify as a nuisance; the gator must be at least 4 feet long and appear to present a legitimate threat. 


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“If a complaint meets the qualifying criteria, [the Statewide Nuisance Alligator Program] will issue a permit to a contracted nuisance alligator trapper authorizing the removal of the animal,” according to the FWC.


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Published on Jun 23, 2021